The Power of Pluralism

One of our school’s several Torah scroll’s needs to be repaired. This Torah is most often used by the school’s traditional egalitarian minyan (one of several different minyanim including Reform, alternative and mechitza). Consistent with the egalitarian minyan’s principles, the members of the minyan want to invite a female soferet (scribe) to fix the Torah.… Continue reading The Power of Pluralism

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Educational Philosophy

Introduction  Twice in my life I was given the gift of walking through an open door into a new world. The first was a world two hundred years old, that no member of my family had ever known before. The second was a world three thousand years old, a world that nearly every generation of… Continue reading Educational Philosophy

DEEPENING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT SCHOOLS CAN LEARN FROM CAMPS

Rigorous classes, holiday celebrations, sports, arts, boyfriends, breakups, SATs, bus rides, trips, shabbatonim, tefillah, Talmud Torah, Hebrew, English, Chinese, Israel, America... We believe that there is a growing need to ground our work in theory and to develop a shared language about what it means to bring the best of the Jewish camp experience to… Continue reading DEEPENING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT SCHOOLS CAN LEARN FROM CAMPS

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE “LONELY AT THE TOP”: DEVELOPING HIGH FUNCTIONING LEADERSHIP TEAMS

The vastly expanding demands put upon school leaders provides schools with an opportunity to create their own form of distributed leadership. Baker explains what leadership teams are, why they offer many benefits, and how a team can be most effective. In the face of a changing world and increasingly complex challenges, the most important thing… Continue reading IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE “LONELY AT THE TOP”: DEVELOPING HIGH FUNCTIONING LEADERSHIP TEAMS

Jewish Educational Learning with Soul

What does it take to make truly transformative Jewish education? Rabbi Marc Baker argues that leadership and education are moral and spiritual endeavors that require constant self-examination and improvement. Reflecting on his work at the Gann Academy, Rabbi Baker discusses how Mussar teachings can be incorporated into the curriculum for both students and teachers in… Continue reading Jewish Educational Learning with Soul

How We Tell Our Stories

16 December 2016  16 Kislev 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   Last night I was mesmerized once again by a Gann student theatrical production, this time of the George Bernard Shaw classic, St. Joan. Our students’ depth, sophistication, talent, and tremendous hard work were on display in our Bernice Krupp Black Box Theater in a show that… Continue reading How We Tell Our Stories

Researchers and Soul Searchers

9 December 2016  9 Kislev 5777    This week I observed an exquisite example of what the educational world calls “project-based learning,” driven by a task with real-world consequences.   Around the corner from Gann (or just through the woods, if you take a short-cut) is the site of The Fernald School. Before it was closed… Continue reading Researchers and Soul Searchers

Planting Trees

18 November 2016  17 Heshvan 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   I just returned from a two-day trip to Israel, where I visited places and people with whom Gann is building collaborative partnerships, spent time with Gann alumni, and—the reason for the trip—joined our nearly 30 Gann juniors for the final days of their Israel experience.   On… Continue reading Planting Trees

Election Reflections

11 November 2016 10 Marcheshvan 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   So much has already been written and said about the presidential election. I am not sure that I have much to add nor that I want to follow my inclination to rush immediately to words. At the same time, we began this week to process the… Continue reading Election Reflections

Our Messy Democracy

4 November 2016  3 Marcheshvan 5777    Shalom Chaverim,   With this election finally coming to an end next week, many of us are feeling a great deal of anxiety, both about the outcome and about what feels like the fragile, if not damaged, state of our country and our democracy. As a high school, we… Continue reading Our Messy Democracy